Friday, July 14, 2006

Welcome to Wartime

Leave it to the bitchy adolescents to send a calm neighborhood into complete chaos. Instead of going after the problem, they'll blame everything else and do whatever they can (re: want) to satisfy themselves. The victim this time: Beruit Raffik Harriri International Airport.

I have a friend of Lebanese origin who was recently visiting his family in Lebanon, in the city of Beruit. A thriving metropolis on the road to patching up after a dark period of civil war in the 1980's. The people of Lebanon are by and large a very peaceful people, with the exception of the militant faction Hezbollah, who control the southern part of the country, the border to israel. It was this militant group that started this whole mess, capturing two israeli soldiers and holding them hostage.

The Israelis fought back, launching precision attacks on key Hezbollah targets to neutralize the group... or so they claim. Actually, they knocked out all three runways at Lebanon's only commercial airport. At the time, The Lebanese flag carrier MEA (Middle Eastern Airlines) had several of their french owned aircraft sitting at the airport awaiting departure. They were able to evacuate their fleet to Cyprus by taking off on taxiways that parallel the runways, but that by itself is a very dangerous procedure. Once they got out, the Israelis decided not to allow any more of that, so they blew up the airports fuel tanks as well. Not being satisfied, they then launched attacks on bridges, and have now effectively closed Lebanon's borders. There's no going in, no going out. Let's be clear on two things:

1. Shutting out the Lebanese people is not a precision strike on the militants responsible for attacking their soldiers. It is a direct attack on the Lebanese people, a blatantly inhumane gesture, and the UN is...get this... looking the other way.

2. This is not a war of equals. Lebanese fighters are now sending rockets into towns on the north of israel, not only because they see it fit to kill civilians although some no doubt do, but because that is all they have to defend themselves from the Israeli onslaught. The Israelis have been, with generously liberal abandon, been recieving help from the U.S.

There is nothing justified about this conflict which could realistically spawn world war three, this is nothing but a macho attempt by Israel to upstage their neighbor. But should we expect anything different from adolescents?